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2 months travel around New Zealand

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2 months travel around New Zealand

Myself and my boyfriend will be arriving to Auckland in late November and we have 1 year working holiday visas. We want to spend approx 2 months travelling before we work. Our ideal plan is to spend a week in Auckland and then ideally hire/buy a campervan or car to travel around. As we are flexible on dates and length of stay we dont want to book our whole itinerary but I am noticing a lot of posts mentioning activities geting booked out over the summer - and I have noticed there aren't many rental campervans available now. We have a modest budget so we can afford a decent car rental with accomodation or a cheap campervan.

So my questions are:

1. Are we best hiring a campervan or car?

2. Are we best putting in place now a fixed itinerary or can we leave it flexible regarding accommodation and activities.

Basically we want to cover the whole country and most activites - we enjoy moderate adventure stuff as well as wine tours :)

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Auckland, New...
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1. Re: 2 months travel around New Zealand


I think whether you travel in a campervan or car really comes down to personal choice. Many people buy a van for the duration of their holiday and as you will be here for a year that could be a good option. Campervans are not cheap to rent particularly in the summer months and hiring a car and staying in backpackers, motorcamps or B & Bs etc would I think work out cheaper particularly if you go for backpackers many of which are very nice.

Again whether you choose a fixed itinerary or take a more flexible approach comes down to what you are comfortable with. Personally I always prefer to retain flexibility and I would suggest booking your first couple of nights and possibly your last night. With regard to the rest do some research to identify possible places to stay along the way and call or email ahead. It is always nice to be able to stay a bit longer in places you like and move on from those that you are not so taken with.

Our domestic holiday period runs from just before Christmas to the end of January and certainly at beach locations places get booked well in advance with many people returning year after year.

Hope this helps

With regard

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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2. Re: 2 months travel around New Zealand

A car will be more economical to drive around.

As for booking activities in advance - many visitors have 1 or 2 days in a place with a long list of activities so for them booking everything ahead makes good sense. But if you are able to stay in places a few days then pre-booking isn't as essential. Some tours such as glacier explorers in Aoraki/Mt Cook book up a week in advance in summer - so once you know you will be in a place in a few days time best look at trips and book as needed.

Enjoy your year in NZ - I'm sure you will love it :)

Gore, New Zealand
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324 posts
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3. Re: 2 months travel around New Zealand

I would say the biggest hurdle you will face is sourcing accommodation at New Year if you want to be in one of the holiday hotspots......if there is a popular place you want to be over the Christamas new year period....book it now.

Car is cheaper to run, and easier to manoeuvre. Back packers are every good......even a small tent will get you lots of choices.

Ballarat, Australia
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4. Re: 2 months travel around New Zealand

I would buy a good family-sized tent and camping gear. It will be way bigger than a campervan and with the right gear can be more comfortable, and over the length of time you're travelling you will save a fortune. That way you can have the flexibility of camping, but you'll also have enough $$$ to stay at hostels where it's more convenient. The car will be easier to drive, too.

If you want to stay at popular places over Christmas/New Year you should book that, otherwise you will be fine freewheeling it if you have camping gear. Most DoC campsites can't be booked in advance anyway. …govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/…

5. Re: 2 months travel around New Zealand

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